From Gary... Surprise

(note: before clicking on the above link, make sure you have the sound turned all the way up on your computer)

For me, surprises usually aren't a good thing.  Often, they are a result of my own stupidity and lack of foresight.  So, I can relate to the picture from "two and a half men" big time!!!  But, what if you knew a surprise was coming; what then?  What if you also knew it was very important and you must do something about it? Read on to gain insight... 

Matthew, Chapter 24
27  For as the lightning flashes from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4
 13  But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  15 For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep.  16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first,  17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.  18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

Galatians, Chapter 3
 22 But the Scriptures imprisoned all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.  27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise. 

Don't be surprised! Prepare!!!  No one knows the time of Jesus' second coming.  But, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises by being prepared.  How? By being a child of God; a "brother" in Christ.  The highlighted passage in Galatians tells you what to do, but really, it is up to you to decide to do it.  Time to go... but wait, is that a storm coming... I wonder if there will be thunder and LIGHTNING????

PS. Thanks Duane, for putting the video on facebook!!!

From Gary... Bible Reading, Mar. 28

Mar. 28
Leviticus 11, 12

Lev 11:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
Lev 11:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.
Lev 11:3 Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat.
Lev 11:4 " 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:5 The coney, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:6 The hare, because she chews the cud but doesn't part the hoof, she is unclean to you.
Lev 11:7 The pig, because he has a split hoof, and is cloven-footed, but doesn't chew the cud, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.
Lev 11:9 " 'These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, that you may eat.
Lev 11:10 All that don't have fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination to you,
Lev 11:11 and you detest them. You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.
Lev 11:12 Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination to you.
Lev 11:13 " 'These you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the vulture, and the black vulture,
Lev 11:14 and the red kite, any kind of black kite,
Lev 11:15 any kind of raven,
Lev 11:16 the horned owl, the screech owl, and the gull, any kind of hawk,
Lev 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
Lev 11:18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
Lev 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.
Lev 11:20 " 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:21 Yet you may eat these: of all winged creeping things that go on all fours, which have legs above their feet, with which to hop on the earth.
Lev 11:22 Even of these you may eat: any kind of locust, any kind of katydid, any kind of cricket, and any kind of grasshopper.
Lev 11:23 But all winged creeping things which have four feet, are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:24 " 'By these you will become unclean: whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:25 Whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:26 " 'Every animal which parts the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean.
Lev 11:27 Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, they are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:28 He who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you.
Lev 11:29 " 'These are they which are unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
Lev 11:30 the gecko, and the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink, and the chameleon.
Lev 11:31 These are they which are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead, shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:32 On whatever any of them falls when they are dead, it shall be unclean; whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it is, with which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it will be clean.
Lev 11:33 Every earthen vessel, into which any of them falls, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it.
Lev 11:34 All food which may be eaten, that on which water comes, shall be unclean; and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
Lev 11:35 Everything whereupon part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven, or range for pots, it shall be broken in pieces: they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.
Lev 11:36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern in which water is a gathered shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Lev 11:37 If part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it is clean.
Lev 11:38 But if water is put on the seed, and part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
Lev 11:39 " 'If any animal, of which you may eat, dies; he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:41 " 'Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth is an abomination. It shall not be eaten.
Lev 11:42 Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
Lev 11:43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby.
Lev 11:44 For I am Yahweh your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth.
Lev 11:45 For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 11:46 " 'This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth,
Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.' "

Lev 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 12:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her monthly period she shall be unclean.
Lev 12:3 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Lev 12:4 She shall continue in the blood of purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any holy thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.
Lev 12:5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her period; and she shall continue in the blood of purification sixty-six days.
Lev 12:6 " 'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering:
Lev 12:7 and he shall offer it before Yahweh, and make atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood. " 'This is the law for her who bears, whether a male or a female.
Lev 12:8 If she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.' "

From Gary V. Womack... SHOW ME THE WAY


Moses' example of the power of prayer

Ex. 33:12-13 Moses prayed to God for guidance 
                    in order to lead His people.

Before Moses' prayer

Ex. 20:1-7 God SPOKE to the people His law
                 (Regarding idolatry and His sovereignty)

Ex. 20:18-23 The people feared God's voice.
                     (He had spoken directly to them so 
                     they would fear and not sin.)

After speaking directly to the people, God spoke to Moses

Punishment for violating this law (as spoken to Moses by God):

Ex. 22:20 "He who sacrifices to any god, except to 
                 the Lord only, he shall be utterly 

Ex. 23:20-26 God assured Moses, promising to 
                     send an Angel before them.
                    (He again reiterates His forbidding 
                    them to worship any other.)

                    But while God was instructing 
                    Moses, the people sinned

Ex. 32:1-10 They committed idolatry & God was 
                   ready to destroy them.

Ex. 32:11-14 Moses PRAYED for his people,  
                     pleading for mercy.

Ex. 33:1-6 God tells Moses to go with his people 
                 to the promised land. He would send 
                 an Angel before them, but HE would 
                 not go with them.

Ex. 33:12-13 Moses' prayer: "SHOW ME THE 

"Way" - "A course of life or mode of action."

Ex. 33:14-16 After God agrees to go before them,  
                     Moses' reply:
                     "If You don't go with us, don't send 
                      us on our way."

BUMPER STICKER I SAW - "Don't leave home without Him."

Moses realized his/their need. By His going with them, it would demonstrate that they were His people & mark their separation from all other people (as they entered the land of Canaan with its idolatrous people.)

1 Pet. 2:9-12 We are His people, distinct from the 
                     world. Live according to His 
                     guidance so the world will 
                     recognize this and glorify Him.

Prayer - Requires an acknowledgment that we are in need of Him.

Jn. 15:1-8 Jesus' parable of the Vine and the 
(Shows our need for him in producing fruit.)


As Moses, Christ now serves as our Mediator

(Ex. 32:11-14) Moses had pleaded on their 
                       behalf, interceding as a mediator.

1 Tim. 2:5 "For there is one God and one Mediator 
                  between God and men, the Man Christ 

Psm. 34:15-18 The Lord hears the righteous 
                        (broken-hearted, contrite, humble)
                        but not those who do evil.

Jas. 5:16-18 Effective prayer - by the righteous - 
                    accomplishes MUCH.

vss. 19-20 To turn back the sinful (As Moses did) 
                  covers much sin.

As we reach out to save the lost - remember Moses.


Eph. 6:10-20 Be strong in the Lord - put on your 
                     armor - and PRAY.



I can't help it. I know there is profound evil in the world and that we humans can descend to depths of wickedness that can take our breath away. I know that! Listen, I know that!

But in the midst of all that, there they are, men and women, boys and girls who are as gallant as any movie star we've ever seen. The gracious Holy One is still at work in the human family and in their tens of millions in every generation they astonish the watchers who find it hard to believe what their eyes and ears tell them.

The Hebrew writer speaks of men and women of faith who were stoned to death, sawn asunder and who lived in caves, persecuted and tormented; all of them, waiting for God to fulfil his promises. But though commended for their faith and though it is true that the world was not worthy of them they died without receiving what had been promised (11:37-38).
Exciting words these, marvelous stories and daring characters! A book full of that stuff sells well, sermons like that preach well and don’t the congregations love them! And so they should! But what makes an inspiring book or movie is that it has an end and the end makes all the hurt and struggle well worthwhile. The movie ends, the credits roll and we leave pleased that the injustice was dealt with, the wrongs were righted, the truth triumphed and we drive home feeling that it’s great to be alive!
In the days that follow the surge subsides, the flame dies down and we’re face to face with the same stubborn entrenched evils—inside and all around us. Widespread goodness seems to be something we dream about. It doesn’t matter that there truly is thriving goodness that’s just as stubborn and just as ingrained as the evils we see. It’s easy to be disheartened. The goodness and its power seems to be too little too late and early promise comes to nothing. Doesn’t that seem to be the usual, isn’t it what breaks the hearts of once flaming reformers? Sure it is, that’s why Lord Morley said, "For the wettest of wet blankets give me the middle-aged man who more than the rest was a visionary in his youth." Pretty sad commentary that, but it probably has more truth in it than we’d like to admit.
There was this vulnerable handful of people, feeling the bite of famine, they went down to Egypt and ended up enslaved and brutalized. But one of them came to believe that he was God’s chosen to do the impossible, and bless me, that multitude walked out of a ruined Egypt, walked through a belligerent sea that blocked their way...but only to find themselves wandering in a moody, killing wilderness. But the believers whipped the wilderness and settled in a tiny fertile land only to find themselves vomited out again and scattered throughout the nations of the world. Two steps forward, three steps back—so they felt and so they experienced, though there were those among them who kept saying that however it looked and however many disappointments there were they were still on the road to glory.
There was this young man in whom the realization grew that he was God’s chosen to redeem a sinful and hurting world. You know the facts well. A young Messiah, the gathered masses, the healed, the now smiling, the sense of glad expectancy and then...then the dispersing crowds, the gathering clouds, the threatened and threatening authorities, the vested interests closing ranks, a hurried and shameless trial and a rush to the hanging tree. Then the followers, slinking back to Galilee with hopes dashed, back to villagers that gave them the "I told you so" looks, back to dreamless fishing, cold wet nights and the all too hum drum and familiar. The adventure had ended; a firecracker that fizzled out without an explosion!
We can hear the critics whisper to each other at the sight of the disappointed believers. Moe than that, we can imagine the depressed believers sum it all up as a lost venture. Well, it was too much to expect, the dreams were too grand and their hearts had flown too high. Bit silly really, now that they mused on it as they hauled in their nets or locked themselves in upper rooms or trudged their way to Emmaus. They were nothing more than ordinary people but...but didn’t they dream well? Weren’t they marvelous at imagining a glorious life and nation and world? Too bad God wasn’t as big as their dreams and vision of him.
But that wasn’t how it was to end! The ancients, battered and beaten, hounded and hurt, had died believing and it was God that generated their dreams and their faith. He had said such and such and they had believed him! They rose to the challenge; they defied the world with all its cynicism, moral gloom and crushing disappointment and died expecting! Weren’t they glorious in all their ordinariness? Doesn’t Hebrews 11, if you have half an imagination, read better than the finest Hollywood epic?
If God hadn’t worked it out he would have been ashamed to link his name with people like that! It isn't difficult to hear even the friendly critics say, "Yahweh? Oh, yes, that’s the name they gave that god that Israel believed in, wasn’t it? The god that made all those promises that Israel believed? Hmmm. Sad isn’t it? They left everything to follow him. Too bad, really, that it all came to nothing. Pathetic that he wasn’t up to keeping his word. Oh well. There it is.")
And what of the young Messiah? It wasn’t possible, Peter said, for death to hold Jesus because he had trusted God with all his being, believing in God’s purpose and promise and dying with words of trust on his lips. If God hadn’t raised him to immortality and glory he would have been ashamed of himself. In trusting us God puts us to the test but in bringing us to believe in him God puts his own reputation on the line.
And we—because God said suffering precedes glory—staring down tsunamis, liver cancers, broken homes, moral losses, bereavements, public opinion and government nonsense, old age and loss of dignity—what of us? Will we live and die with glad hearts believing? If we do, God won’t be able to face us, won’t be able to look us in the eye if he doesn’t bring our dreams (his dreams in us) to a glorious conclusion.
He would be ashamed to admit he is our God.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com

From Mark Copeland... The Great Commission

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    The Great Commission (28:16-20)


1. The gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus meeting with His apostles in
   a. Foretold by Jesus before His betrayal - Mt 26:31-32
   b. Announced by both an angel and Jesus after His resurrection - Mt 28:7,10

2. It was a meeting filled with mixed emotions - Mt 28:16-17
   a. Seeing Jesus, they worshipped Him
   b. Yet some were doubtful
      1) It is unlikely this refers to the apostles, for they had seen
         Jesus earlier - cf. Jn 20:19-20,24-29
      2) This may have been the occasion where over 500 saw Him at
         once, and some may have wondered what they were seeing - cf.
         1Co 15:6

3. It was a meeting in which Jesus gave His disciples a command - Mt 28:18-20
   a. To make disciples of all the nations
   b. Baptizing and teaching them
   -- Ending with a promise to always be with them

[This command is commonly called "The Great Commission".  As we take a
few moments to look at it more closely, we may better understand what
was so "great" about it...]


      1. As the Creator, He had the original right to all things - Co
      2. As our Redeemer, even more so! - Php 2:6-11

      1. He now rules in the heavenly realm - 1Pe 3:22; Ep 1:20-23
      2. He also rules over the kings of the earth! - Re 1:5; Ps 2:
         1-12; 110:1-6

      1. Jesus certainly deserves our obedience to Him as Lord - Ac 2:
         36; Lk 6:46
      2. Jesus certainly can deliver on His promises - 2Pe 1:2-5

[On the basis of such great authority, Jesus gives "The Great 
Commission".  As we continue, we notice that it is...]


      1. The KJV says "teach", the Greek word means "to make disciples"
      2. Thus they were to make "learners", "adherents", "imitators" of
         Jesus Christ
         a. Jesus had been inviting people to become His disciples all
            along - Mt 4:18-22; 11:28-30
         b. He expected His disciples to become like Him - Lk 6:40

      1. First, by "baptizing them" in the name of the Father, Son, and
         Holy Spirit
         a. A baptism for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. A baptism in water - Ac 8:35-38; 10:47-48
         c. A burial - Ro 6:3-6; Col 2:11-12
      2. Then by "teaching them to observe all things" He had commanded
         a. Baptism is only the beginning, teaching must continue
         b. Such was the case with the early disciples - Ac 2:41-42
      -- Both baptism and ongoing teaching is essential to true

[We should also observe concerning "The Great Commission" that it


      1. They were to go into all the world, and preach to every
         creature - Mk 16:15
      2. They were to be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth
         - Ac 1:8

      1. With the Limited Commission, it was just for Israel - Mt 10:
      2. Now the Gentiles (all nations) could become fellow-heirs - Ep 2:11-22

      1. Jesus would have us think "globally", not just locally
      2. While we should be mindful of our local community, we should
         also be thinking of those abroad

[Finally, we note concerning "The Great Commission" that it is...]


      1. A promise similar to those Jesus made earlier:
         a. To His apostles - Mt 18:20
         b. To those who keep His commandments - Jn 14:18-23
      2. A promise similar to those God gave to:
         a. Moses - Exo 3:11-12
         b. Joshua - Josh 1:5
         c. The nation of Israel - Isa 41:10
      3. A promise that ought to provide much comfort when oppressed
         - Ro 8:31-38; He 13:5-6

      1. Even to the time when:
         a. The Great Harvest will occur - Mt 13:39-43
         b. The wicked shall be separated from the just - Mt 13:49
      2. Throughout this Christian age or dispensation, Jesus will
         forever be with His disciples
         a. As they go into all the world
         b. Making more disciples


1. Is "The Great Commission" limited just to the apostles?
   a. Note well that disciples were to "observe all things that I
      commanded you"
   b. What did Jesus just command the apostles? (Go therefore and make
   c. Future disciples were to observe all commands, including this
   -- Therefore "The Great Commission" is a commission to the church as

2. Do we honor "The Great Commission" in our lives?  We do if we are...
   a. Submitting to the authority of Jesus
   b. Working to make disciples of Jesus
   c. Striving to make disciples in all the nations of the world
   d. Abiding in His Word and thereby ensuring His abiding presence in
      our lives

Shortly after giving "The Great Commission", Jesus ascended to heaven
(Ac 1:9-11).  His earliest disciples took that commission and did
great things with it.

May these words of Jesus motivate us to do great things in our service
to Him also!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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